Angus Young was born on March 31st, 1959, in Glasgow, Scotland. With his brother Malcolm, he formed a band(1973), which was to become one of the world’s greatest hard-rock bands. The band was named AC/DC by their sister(rumor tells it had something to do with a vacuum cleaner). Their sister also suggested sometime later that Angus should be wear a school uniform on stage. This became the bands unofficial trademark.
The band performed a couple gigs around Sydney, cutting a single called “Can I Sit Next to you” with the original lineup(singer Dave Evans, drummer Larry Van Knedt and bassist Colin Burgess along with the Young brothers). Then the Young brothers and Evans moved to Melbourne and Mark Evans started to play bass and Phil Rudd took over on drums. Later their chauffeur Bon Scott became their singer, when Dave Evans refused to go on stage.
Bon Scott had been a drummer for the Australian pop bands Fraternity and the Valentines. He previously had several convictions on minor criminal offenses and had been rejected by the Australian Army. That helped to build the image of AC/DC as a brutal and insurgent group.
They released High Voltage(1974) and TNT (1975) albums in Australia with producers George Young and Harry Vanda. These albums brought the attention of Atlantic Records, and after signing a deal they moved to London. Bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams.
The albums Let There Be Rock(1977) and Powerage(1978) helped grow their polarity in the UK and their following album, Highway to Hell(1979) was a chart-success and the band’s first million-seller. Then a tragedy hit the band: Bon Scott died by being suffocated in his own vomit. But before his death he had pointed the group’s next to come singer by describing Brian Johnson as the best sounding singer he had ever heard, when Brian was still performing in a band called Geordie.
1980 Brian started singing and AC/DC made their best selling record ever: Back in Black, which sold over ten million copies in US only. After that composition of AC/DC was about to change again: Phil Rudd made advances to Malcolm’s wife and was forced to leave.
Also the next album For Those About To Rock(1981) was a huge success topping the American charts for three weeks. But then they started going downhill with the album Flick Of The Switch(1983), until with The Razors Edge they were on the sharpest top again.
Phil Rudd came back to the band, and with their next album BallBreaker (1995) they gained maybe their most positive reviews since the start of the band’s career. It was also another million seller worldwide.
The latest album Stiff Upper Lip brought their music nearer to the Rhythm and Blues, which is maybe caused by Angus being strongly influenced by it (“That’s the music I play first when I get home”, he says). In my opinion, Stiff Upper Lip isn’t a bad album: It hasn’t got very big hits, but it tends to be that kind of music which keeps you listening again and again.
This article is part of TheGuitarFiles‘s Archive Section which we are slowly trying to rebuild.